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Posted on Tue, May 7, 2013 : 3:30 p.m.

Milan community struggles to get behind new school mascot and logo

By Danielle Arndt

Finding a mascot and a logo the community as a whole can embrace is proving to be difficult for Milan Area Schools, according to a report in the Milan News-Leader.


A simple black and red "Big Reds" flag flew over the football field at Milan High School during a football game Oct. 12. The district is redesigning its logo and mascot, which previously was a Native American chief.

Courtney Sacco | file photo

Last year, the school district decided to drop all Native American imagery while keeping its "Big Reds" name. Then in January, the school board voted to have the district's new mascot image be a hawk.

A logo that consists of a block "M" with hawk eyes and a beak was drawn by a local artist and selected from a pool of 116 possible logo submissions, the News-Leader reported.

Superintendent Bryan Girbach said in the newspaper, some people were confused by the hawk "M" drawing and may have had a traditional image of a hawk in mind.

The News-Leader reported the district will extend its deadline for developing a new mascot and logo and will allow the committee heading up the rebranding to reconvene and brainstorm more hawk images.

Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at


Brad PTA

Thu, May 9, 2013 : 6:02 p.m.

Why the change? Were there complaints from American/Native Americans? There was no notation in the original article. With the uproar over the change and that stupid block M with a face it seems like it would be better to leave well enough alone as long as there aren't any complaints. Sounds like someone on the board is being overly PC for no reason.

Fat Bill

Wed, May 8, 2013 : 3:54 a.m.

For an amazing mascot, look no further than the Richland(WA) Bombers, whose mascot is a mushroom cloud. Google if...


Wed, May 8, 2013 : 3:09 p.m.

if you dare...

dading dont delete me bro

Wed, May 8, 2013 : 1:10 p.m.

if what...?

dading dont delete me bro

Wed, May 8, 2013 : 2:26 a.m.

that M was a hawk?!? go milan flying M's!


Wed, May 8, 2013 : 1:17 a.m.

How about a good picture of this block M with hawk eyes. It would really help the story.

Silly Sally

Tue, May 7, 2013 : 8:47 p.m.

Here is some very funny information. 51% of American Indians actually prefer to be called "American Indian" as opposed to the pc "Native American" ("First Nations" in Canada). This is per Wikipedia, which is very pc. Only about 35% of American Indians prefer the term "Native American" even though the thought police such as the Milan School Board or the Eastern Michigan Univ. Regents have tried to protect them.


Wed, May 8, 2013 : 6:01 p.m.

I would not trust wipedia as far as I can throw them. I heard Native American and I am sticking with it until a true Native comes forward to claim otherwise.


Wed, May 8, 2013 : 12:12 a.m.

Interesting observation. Regardless of the moniker used, poor treatment of their culture has occurred for centuries all in the name of euro centric progress.


Tue, May 7, 2013 : 8:19 p.m.

Blandness is pretty hard to embrace.

Usual Suspect

Tue, May 7, 2013 : 7:47 p.m.

Big Reds could still work - red-tailed hawk. Or red could represent those who partake of the cult of politically correctness.


Tue, May 7, 2013 : 7:37 p.m.

Big Reds = Large Communists?


Wed, May 8, 2013 : 1:51 a.m.

Actually Honda makes a "Big Red". It is a side by side UTV. Guess that could be their mascot.


Wed, May 8, 2013 : 12:10 a.m.

Proof that anything taken out of context can be put in a bad light.